Tag Archives: brixton market

#BrixtonBonus Meet The Winner: Miss South

Congrats to the latest Brixton Bonus winner, Miss South! A Brixton food blogger and food and drink editor at the Brixton Blog and Bugle, she is also the author of the amazing Recipes from Brixton Village, a collection of recipes contributed from traders as well as her own recipes showcasing Brixton produce.

Miss South was actually one of the first to start playing Brixton Bonus when we launched it last June – read her article from back then on what she’d spend her prize on if she won. 12 months later, she is actually a Brixton Bonus Thousandaire, and wrote another piece for us now that she actually has B£1,000 to spend! 

“I’ve been a big fan of the Brixton Pound since it started over five years ago, but to my eternal shame I never used it that much. I kept forgetting to go to Morleys for paper notes and I blew all the credit I put on the text account on wine at a party B£ hosted the same night and never topped up again.

Then the Brixton Pound launched the Brixton Bonus and I decided this was an excellent time to get involved. In signing up on the website, I discovered I had £14 in my text account from someone buying Recipes from Brixton Village from me at the Lambeth Country Show two years ago in the pouring rain. 

Perfect for a disorganised person, I set up a standing order for two tickets a month by the magic of the internet and forget about it. Until I got an unexpected phone call to say I’d won the £1000 prize and then I definitely remembered I’d played!

Registered in my real name, this was the genuine luck of the draw and I was thrilled. The beauty of the Bonus for me is that’s all disposable income to spend with local independent traders in my own community. I can’t accidentally fritter it away on the gas bill. I’ve got to go out and spend it proactively instead.

I’d done a piece for B£ when they launched the Bonus as to what I’d spend it on if I won and interestingly I haven’t done a single thing off that list yet. Partly because the list of traders who accept B£ has increased so much, and because I also realised it was a good way to do things locally that don’t just involve me eating for once.

Instead I wanted to finally get some stuff framed that’s been sitting round my flat for years looking forlorn, and need to go in to see Studio 73 about that. I’ve been having a few niggling health issues and immediately booked in with both Brixton Therapy Centre and Brixton Community Acupuncture to ease those (or kid myself I’m not just getting old!)

I plan to make a donation to both Brixton Advice Centre and Brixton and Norwood Food Bank who both do fantastic community work and very rarely have disposable income or choices on how to spend their money.

And then I might just eat my way round Brixton. There’s always somewhere new to try round here and it would be a shame to not to stuff myself for the good of the community…”


How can you be the next winner?

It’s very simple: buy a ticket online or at the B£ Shop for £1 – you can get anywhere between 1 and 10 tickets to help your chances – and on Friday, 1st July you can walk away with one of the following:

  • A Brixton Grand – B£1,000 all of your own to spend on whatever you fancy!
  • 4 cocktails to share with a friend at the snazzy Seven at Brixton, official Brixton Fund partner.
  • One of 5 B£20 runners-up cash prizes to treat yourself with

And if you fancy some extra rewards, we give them out to anyone who sets up a recurring monthly entry, starting at £1/month – more details here. Most importantly of all, all revenue from the Brixton Bonus goes into the Brixton Fund!

#BrixtonBonus Meet The Winner: Urszula

Urszula won the April draw of the Brixton Bonus. She joins the growing crowd of winners, who are featured in our Winners Gallery – have a look! And make sure you get some Bonus tickets before the next draw on 27th May – who knows, it could be you next time! Better yet, set up a recurring entry to never miss a chance for a Brixton Grand – and get some extra goodies as a reward from us.

“I read about the Bonus in the Bugle where there was an article about it. And I thought that you stood a better chance of winning the Bonus than the National Lottery! I had been playing for a few months before I won, and thought that whether I win or not, it’s really good that the money raised goes towards funding local groups around Brixton. Giving a chance to people who perhaps would find it hard to get funding otherwise. Everyone deserves a chance, and when you work hard and have an idea sometimes you just need a little bit of help to keep you going and spur you on. And then winning was just a surprise!”

“I would like to take my family out for a meal when everyone’s at home! Other than that I have been to my favourite shop Market Row Wines, I think that was the first place where I bought something with my winnings. Then some pizza from Franco Manca. And also new gloves from Brixton Cycles! It has made me more aware of which shops take B£ and which do not. I do think it would be really good if more shops joined in the scheme. People want to spend their money locally; more shops just need to be convinced. But yes, it has made me find out more about spending in local shops.”

“I’m also going to donate some of my winnings to the Ebony Horse Club in Loughborough Junction. I think opportunities for people to have a go at things they normally wouldn’t get the chance to do are great!

“I do think it has been really good that B£ has had a physical embodiment on the high street. It makes people much more aware of them. Because it is on the high street it meant I could go in and talk to a real person and find out more about the Bonus and what it does.”

“I’ve lived in Brixton for 30 years now, and I’ve always shopped in the market, the health food shop, the fabric shop, veg shop, Franco Manca… And just the covered markets in general. Before that I used to come here when I was a student, the markets have always been a really good place to shop: I would come to buy fruit and veg here because there was no market near where I lived. You get all kinds stuff: fish, fruit, fabrics… You could always buy unusual things too – the Reliance Arcade was a great place for that! Even my mum in the 50s used to shop in the market when she first came to London. All you need in a neighbourhood is a park and a market.”

Would you wanna win B£1,000 while supporting the local economy and the Brixton Fund too? Go ahead, play the Brixton Bonus!

The first local currency cash machine opens in Brixton today

Today we are unveiling the world’s first local currency cash machine! Designed and produced by Kind Studio, it is situated in Market Row and available in the market’s operating hours: 8am – 11:30pm Tuesday to Sunday, and 8am – 6pm on Mondays. Which means you can get your hands on paper B£s at almost any time of the day!

001 The cash machine will aid Brixton Pound in furthering its mission to showcase what a social economy might look like in Brixton, and will give local residents an increased opportunity to spend paper B£s to support these values and imagine a better world. It will also help us achieve our vision – that a different high street is possible.


The cash machine is funded by The Mayor’s High Street Fund, and forms part of a wide range of initiatives in Brixton supporting businesses in the town centre. The High Street Fund is helping Brixton and its existing and emerging traders, hand in hand with the innovative Brixton Pound project.

B£’s Tom Shakhli said:

“Our cash machine is the latest in our challenge to the conventional view that we’re moving towards a cashless society, and gives locals and visitors to Brixton an opportunity to experiment with money that celebrates community and creates conversations rather than closes them off.”

If you check it out, let us know what you think! #brixtoncashpoint


Brixton public art: Lucy Casson ‘Foxes and Cherries’

‘Foxes and Cherries’ by Lucy Casson  is a sculpture over Electric Avenue, Brixton. It is featured on the B£20 note. This is a guest blog post written by Lucy about what inspired her to make the piece of public art.

foxcherryaziz   B£20 square
Foxes and Cherries on Electric Avenue and as featured on the B£20 

Halfway along Electric Avenue ‘Foxes and Cherries’  is situated high up on a roof. I wanted to make something inspired by the fruit market – cherries are such wonderful fruit, and that year the cherry tree in my garden in Brixton had a bumper crop of cherries, so it had to be cherries; and for me the foxes that live among us represented the cheeky side of Brixton as they dive in and out of sight.

‘Foxes and Cherries’ in the making

As well as making art works for public places I create smaller works for gallery exhibition.
I have created a world of ‘beings.’ They are cartoon like, part animal, part human. These characters become part of narratives and scenarios gleaned from observations of everyday accuracies, surreal encounters or imagined stories.

Tin Plate Beings
cherries 2  small1  small2
Cherries                                           Fire                                                The Inspectors

animal looking  red ball and spoon
 Animal Looking                                                         Red Ball and Spoon

For the past two and a half years I have been the lead artist for the newly opened New Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool, creating a number of large sculptures, graphics, curtain/glass design, etc. I am currently working on a small sculpture for Brockwell Park.

Works from the New Alder Hey children’s hospital
  alderyheybirds  bird 100 closeBronze Fox                                     Roost – A Hundred Birds              Bird Close Up

Head over to Lucy’s website for of her work: www.lucycasson.co.uk. To discover other public art featured on B£ notes, click here

Latest businesses to join the B£

A warm welcome to all the new businesses who have joined us recently!

OnTrack Sports Therapy – at Fitness First, Blue Star House, Stockwell Road, SW9 9SP. info@ontracksportstherapy.co.uk. Offering 10% off to B£ customers.

The Ford Clinic, Nutritional Therapy – at Fitness First, Blue Star House, Stockwell Road, SW9 9SP. louise@thefordclinic.co.uk

Copacabana – 12-14 Market Row, SW9 8LD. Authentic Brazilian cuisine.Offering 10% to B£ customers.

Casa Sibilla – Unit 67-68, Granville Arcade, SW8 9PS. Fresh Italian food prepared from scratch in front of you. Offering 10% every Tuesday to B£ customers

First Choice Bakers – 40 Atlantic Road, SW8 8JW. Producers of finest Jamaican Patties, cakes, buns, breads.

WAG Free Food – 26 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR.  Freshly baked wheat and gluten free bread, pies, cakes and pastries.

KUBIFIT – Personal training programs, group exercises, in and outdoors.

Mobile Care – 1 Atlantic Road, SW9 8HX. Mobile phone sales and support.

Please do say hello and show them your support, in the shape of our lovely notes….

Reuse your cups

Noureddine with his B£ cups

Owner of Sitifis Cafe Noureddine Lalmi was photographed by Lambeth Life for an article about the Brixton Pound reusable cup scheme. Sitifis is just one of many cafes and eateries in Brixton offering a discount to customers using the cup. Get hold of yours now from participating businesses for B£6 or £6.50 and help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. See this earlier post for more details.

The Brixton Pound also featured in Friday’s Evening Standard. Brixton Village trader Mpho McKenzie said the Brixton Pound had helped boost local trade. Read the article in full here.

Have a crafty Christmas

On Saturday 11th December Crafty Fox Pop Up Market is coming to Brixton. The market is being held in the Dogstar pub on Coldharbour Lane, 11am-6pm. There will be over 30 stalls selling handmade and vintage items as well as craft workshops, live music and, inevitably, drinks.

Stallholders will be accepting Brixton £s on the day so it’s a great opportunity to pick up the last (or, in my case, the first) of your Christmas presents. Shopping in the Dogstar – it’s got to be less stressful than Oxford Street!

On that note, we’d love to hear from anyone who’s decided to buy all their Christmas presents using Brixton Pounds. Simon Woolf did it last year and you can watch a video of him Christmas shopping here.

Watch this space for more hints and tips about how to support independent businesses in Brixton over the festive period…

Volunteer with the Brixton Pound

The Community Shop in Granville Arcade

The Community Shop in Granville Arcade

There are loads of ways that you can help the B£ as well as spending it. We are hosting a very informal meeting on Thursday 3rd June for anyone keen to join the team. We will talk a little about the B£’s plans and activities and then there will be an opportunity to have a chat and discuss ways of getting involved.

Over the summer There are loads of festivals and community events which we are looking to participate in, to help spread the word, increase B£ circulation, and generally make the B£ louder and more visible. Perhaps you could help us with this?

Here are a few different ways that we need help. Get in touch if you think you’re the one for the job!

1) Processing collectors’ packs – online and Ebay orders
2) Saturday outreach – visiting business supporters ensuring they have all necessary communication material; also help with staffing an info stall outside KFC between 11:00-15:00hrs
3) Thursdays drop-in session at the community shop – to help with visitors’ enquiries between 18:00-22:00hrs
4) Producing communication material e.g. A4 posters for businesses
5) Translation of our user guide into community languages e.g. Yoruba, French, Polish
6) Helping during events such as the Lambeth County Show, Brixton Splash, etc.

The Community Shop is in Granville Arcade (entrance from Coldharbour Lane, past the Dogstar and immediately on the left past the railway bridge). The shop is the third unit on the left hand side.

Come for a cup of tea and to find out in more detail how you can get involved.

Antics after dark in Brixton Village

Thursday 29 April saw the first late night opening of Brixton Village Market. To mark the event, alternative club night Feeling Gloomy travelled South of the river from their usual home in Islington bringing with them teddy bear racing, gorilla Twister and robot Connect 4 (which looked as bizarre as it sounds).  Elsewhere in the market, cafés and restaurants stayed open into the night along with art galleries and craft workshops while just outside, Brazilian caterers cooked up a storm of scrummy Acarajé, an Afro-Brazilian street food usually found on the streets of Salvador.

Branded by the B£

Branded by the B£!

The B£ team were out in force, selling pounds on the night, manning the Community Shop and painting the B£ logo on anyone who was willing!

There was a real carnival atmosphere in the Village, helped along a little by the BOY policy. Brixtonian Rowan Sawday said, “It felt like the community was thrown open. Everyone was just relaxed and mingling and I had wicked conversations with about five new people. I’ll be there for the next one!” So far the plan is to keep Brixton Village open late every Thursday, with the possibility of extending this to Market Row (fingers firmly crossed). Make sure you get down to the next one and show some support!

Blow-up politics in Brixton

Reform Now!

The "democratree"

On Saturday Power 2010* hosted ‘Blow-up Politics in Brixton’, an informal event where Brixtonians had the opportunity to have a chat with parliamentary candidates from the three constituencies of Streatham, Vauxhall and Dulwich and West Norwood.

Candidates sat on bright pink inflatable sofas while constituents queued to have their say or add their thoughts to a “democratree”. The street outside KFC became a real political melting pot for the afternoon with candidates from both ends of the political spectrum as well as the three main parties.

Despite the candidates looking a little uncomfortable at times (it’s hard to strike a confident pose on inflatable furniture) there was a real buzz around the event itself, which drew a large crowd of spectators throughout the afternoon.

Never one to miss an opportunity to talk politics, the Brixton Pound posed a few questions to the candidates about the local economy and independent businesses.

Lib Dem candidate for Streatham Chris Nicholson had some encouraging things to say. He stressed the importance of attracting new business to Brixton and highlighted the late-night and Sunday openings for the market as something that could draw in custom from further afield. Nicholson mentioned his own personal frustration at never being able to find time to eat in foodie hotspot Franco Manca.

Chris Nicholson talks to a constituent

Chris Nicholson talks to a constituent

Green candidate Rebecca Findlay was adamant that business rates need to be readdressed to give new independent businesses a fighting chance, especially in areas where they are being crowded out by commercial chain stores. On the high street, independent businesses can currently be charged up to four times the rate that chains pay. Findlay was supportive of the Brixton Pound project as an economic initiative, especially its accessibility for people outside the mainstream banking system.

Unfortunately Socialist candidate Daniel Lambert didn’t approve of the Brixton Pound. Then again, he didn’t approve of the use of money full stop. Can’t win ‘em all…

*Power 2010 is a political pressure group campaigning for parliamentary reform in the run up to the general election. Go to www.power2010.org.uk for more information.